Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Connect - Buttongirl from the UK

I love you  image by Trudy Willoughby

I've decided to connect with creative people I don't know and get to know them and their work better.  
I've found inspiration around the internet, in shops etc,and I've tried to connect to the designer or artist. You all know that I'm a lover of all things embroidery, buttons and cupcakes. John my good friend from Ireland bought me an amazing little card for my birthday and it had all the above elements on it. I found it again recently and noticed that it was made by a company called Buttongirl Design. I loved the card so much, it is a print of embroidered cupcakes and buttons and is just so yummy. She used found vintage materials and buttons and the stitching and colour was so fun and bright. I just had to find out more. 
I decided to contact them and was so glad I did as Trudy Willoughby soon responded and answered some of my questions.

Cupcake Happy Birthday image by Trudy Willoughby

How did buttongirl get started? 
 Well I studied at Loughborough School of Art and Design between 2000-2003 and specialised in 'Woven Textiles' where I embroidered and embellished onto my woven fashion designs. My love for buttons grew while studying and inspired the name 'buttongirl' so this is where it all began and doodling my ickle girl design that is now my logo with a special bird i love birds to! When I graduated I freelanced for a women's wear textile studio 'Lewis and Lewis Design' in South London designing prints and embroideries where i gained confidence in my abilities and a about four years later along side freelancing I decided to set up my own greeting card business 'Buttongirl Designs'. 
New Home  image by Trudy Willoughby

What advice would you give to other small creative business owners?
I would say keep believing in your dreams and do not give up all businesses have difficult times especially at the moment but perseverance will get you through you have to believe in your product and work hard. It's still early days for me and I certainly do not have a business brain!!!! but it's all about learning as you go along and learning from everyone you meet. My other advice would be to do your research 'market research' is key sourcing information to aid your business, for me it was important to speak to gift shop owners and find out what cards are the most popular and what do customers want how much are they willing to pay for a card etc.
baby girl image by Trudy Willoughby
What inspires you?
I get inspired by lots of things really everything around me!! I went to Tuscany recently which was beautiful and i'm obsessed with cupcakes anything associated with vintage tea parties and birds will get me drawing and creating away. I am currently inspired by folk art so I am buying lots of books and researching colour palettes and patterns to generate ideas! 

Dylan Ties  image by Trudy Willoughby

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Baby Pasta Party

So today I went to play group in Lynne Patti's house and we had a tactile day for the baby and toddlers in the backyard.  We filled a paddling pool with different shapes of cooked pasta and watched the children interact with it. It was such a great time and I know my Sienna really enjoyed it. Thanks Lynne! 

Etsy Finds

I love looking on etsy and discovering lovely inspiring things. This first shop fluer fatale is from Belgium and I love the delegate style of the pieces.  The pieces incorporate vintage finds and semi precious stones.

I also came across Jellybeans who sell beautiful  original art work and stationary. I love the softness and colours in her work. She also has a great blog too!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

My Creative Friends No.1 Lisa Soltis

Over the coming few weeks, I've decided I'm going to blog about my creative friends. I've so many talented friends who inspire me in so many ways, so I just need to share them with you all!

So first up is my great friend Lisa Soltis. She is so super talented in so many ways, illustrator, textile and jewelry designer. I've featured some on her one of jewelry pieces above but check out her website for more of her work and details of where you can buy some of these amazing pieces. Lisa loves to collect vintage pieces from all over the place. Lisa and her husband Dan live in an amazing loft in downtown LA and it is full of all sorts of thrift store and vintage fines. Every time I visit I get inspired. Dan is a sculptor and he produces some of the pieces in Lisa's jewelry collection. Together they are a creative power house!!!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Hope in the City

Last year I helped organise an event in downtown LA called Hope in the City. It was a group of designers who created pieces of fashion from a bag of vintage clothes. This year I wasn't able to get as involved but I did create this embroidery piece to be auctioned off at art auction.
Check out my friend Rustin's photos from the shoot and also from last year's event too.

This piece was made from a bag of scrap fabrics sewn together and than hand stitching on top. I'm in the middle of making a couple more of these and will post pictures as soon as there done!